8 Best Home Stereo Systems [ 2022 Review ] - MusicCritic (2022)

Multi-Purpose Speakers - Some home entertainment systems specifically designed for use with TVs, but others are multi-purpose and can be used for either music playback or in conjunction with a TV. Bluetooth is excellent here as you can easily connect and switch between different devices (including your TV if it's Bluetooth compatible).

8 Best Home Stereo Systems [ 2022 Review ] - MusicCritic (1)

Sam Jeans

Sam Jeans FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Home Stereo System Buyers Guide

Important Features to Consider

There are a ton of factors that will determine what will be a good home stereo system for you. Based on price, power, sound quality, connectivity, intended use, functionality, compatibility, and many other things, you will want to find the exact system that is right for your home audio needs. Remember that even the greatest stereo system in the world might not be right for you - it all depends on your preferences.

Because of the complexity of this subject, we have put together a guide on some of the most important factors to keep in mind when picking out your home audio system.

Intended Use

The first thing you should ask yourself is what you're planning on using your home stereo system for. There are lots of scenarios in which you may be using your speakers. From simply listening to music and gaming to watching movies and hosting parties, what are you looking to get out of your home audio system? All speakers feature differences for various uses.

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If you're going to be listening to music but won't be watching any movies, you can look at more stereo equipment that doesn't require surround sound. Whether you want to plug in your phone or turntable, you can find a system to suit you.

If you like to be able to take your system into different rooms, you'll want a small system that's good for moving around. Conversely, if you want a stay-at-home setup that never moves, then a full-on surround sound system may be the best way to go for you.

Of course, a smaller system with a compact and simple design is still usable with movies, but it won't produce the surround sound that some listeners may want. Also, surround sound can be fantastic for listening to music if you're going to put on a new album and zone out. With new music recording technology, there are tons of immersive records that are designed to be listened to in surround sound.

So, start by figuring out precisely what type of listening experience you're after, and go from there.

Consider additional features, too. Some speakers will play alarms to wake you up, whereas others will connect to Alexa or Siri. Are these features important to you?

Sound Quality

You can't sacrifice sound quality. Whether you're putting together a home theater or just want to listen to AM/FM radio, the sound quality is where the money's at. You'll want a system that can provide full, rich bass with clear high frequencies and crunchy mids. Various EQ options don't hurt either. The more you can tweak the sound to your specific needs, the more satisfied you will be.

Sound quality is affected by several factors — the quality of the speaker, connectivity capabilities, acoustic calibration technology, the frequency response, and the number of speakers. A good system is equipped to handle a wide range of uses, blasting high-end quality audio for any space. If bass is the main thing on your mind, consider a bass reflex system.

The amount of wattage will play a factor because whether you're trying to power a small or a large room, you may need more or less power. For example, 1000-watts with thumping bass may not be necessary for your home theater, but it will be if you plan to crank up the volume for a party or dig into whatever movie you're watching.

No matter which way you slice it, sound quality is endlessly crucial for a home stereo system. Read reviews from buying customers of whichever system you're looking at and determine if the sound quality will be useful for you. In terms of specifications, look at the tweeters and woofers.

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Connectivity

You may want a wide range of connectivity specs. When you do, it merely gives you more options for devices and items you want to hook up. All good home stereos these days will have a wireless connection but should also be able to support USB connections.

Wireless signals are a little less reliable than USB and RCA connections, but new systems will generally still be pretty reliable. You don't need to worry about losing connection on a wireless hook up, but it is always good to be able to fall back onto a wired power input. Some models also have SD slots for you to insert an SD card.

Do you want speakers that connect using wires, or would you like to have a completely wireless system? Thanks to the lack of cables everywhere, wireless systems offer a neat and tidy look, which is nice. Also, it allows you to place your speakers anywhere you want in the space so you can change the listening experience as you desire.

If your hifi speakers and your stereo systems come with compatible apps, it will add to your level of convenience during setup and navigation. Most of the best products will allow seamless streaming services, which is a nice detail. This means you can listen to your favorite provider or the radio when necessary.

Volume

The level of the volume necessary for your stereo will be mostly dependent on what you're using it for. If you've got a small room where you're doing most of your listening, then you can go with a lower volume model, which may save you a little bit of money on the front end.

There won't be much need for a subwoofer or a ton of bass boosting components. Systems like the Bose Wave SoundTouch are perfect for creating great sound reception in smaller rooms, especially if you want to be able to take it from space to space.

On the contrary, if you need a little more bass and the capability to ring in people's ears, you may want to go with a system with more wattage. A higher wattage results in higher sound levels. Aim for something above the 200-watt level and go from there. You'll want a good subwoofer, especially if you're hosting people and if you have a massive craving for some extra bass in your music.

The loudest stereo isn't necessarily the best. There are plenty of good small systems that are loud enough to satisfy a wide range of needs without creating too much noise. However, if the volume and power are at the top of your priority list, then make sure you've got a subwoofer and the power necessary to fill the room.

On the other hand, you may also be able to get a model with a headphone jack for private listening with earbuds or headphones.

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Size

Another factor to consider is the size of the home stereo system you want. If you want a system that you can take from room to room, then keep in mind that larger systems also tend to be a lot heavier. Likewise, if you have a space that doesn't have a ton of room for an extra couple of speakers and a subwoofer, then you'll want to downsize just a little bit. You can pick up a mini stereo that still packs a punch, no problem.

A smaller stereo can be suitable for a wide variety of spaces, whereas larger ones have to stay put and take up a good deal of real estate in your area.

Style

The style of your stereo will be only important if you want to make sure that your stereo fits in with the rest of your decor. If you're a classic nester, you should be able to find a system that fits your needs.

Luckily, brands and manufacturers are making systems in very modern and aesthetically pleasing ways that work for basically any home theater. Some may come in different colors to suit your living space. You should be able to impress your family and friends with the sound quality of your system, as well as your home decorating abilities.

If you'd rather listen to records on turntables over your Spotify playlist, bookshelf speakers will look stylish and won't take up too much space.

Channel Capability

These days, we are mostly streaming music wirelessly via Bluetooth and playing using Spotify or Apple Music. Or, we are connected using a USB cable. Every good stereo will have the ability to handle wireless connections in 2022, so you can play from your smartphone or tablet with ease.

However, if you're interested in having a CD player or an AM/FM radio, make sure you're getting a stereo that supports CD-R or can tune to your favorite stations. That way, if you're a talk radio fan, or you simply like to keep up with the latest radio hits and gossip, you can do so.

Having the radio capability is nice because you can just tune it and leave it on all day. Even some of the best playlists need to be attended to every once in a while. The more your stereo can do, the more options you will have for your listening pleasure. Just ensure that the radio you get has a wireless receiver, a USB hookup, and any other add-ons you may need. (You may even be able to plug in your MP3 player!)

Innovative Technology

Some of the newest and best stereo music players available have some exciting technology that may change the way you enjoy your music or movies. For instance, many home theater stereos can calibrate to the acoustic environment in which they are placed. That means that they can manipulate the sound to ensure that all listeners in the room experience the best possible version of the audio being played.

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Another of the best stereo systems has a coveted Auto-DJ application, which is super handy. When people are on the dancefloor and feeling the bass pumping out of the subwoofer, the last thing you want is a break in the music. With the Auto-DJ setup, you can press play, and you don't have to worry about touching it again. The sound output will continue to flow. It's a neat little party trick.

Of course, fancy technology won't be 100% necessary. There are tons of good home audio players that don't have these types of bells and whistles and still compete with many of the other options on our list.

Warranty

No matter what type of stereo you're buying, you'll need to make sure it has a rock-solid warranty. A warranty will protect you from any manufacturer defects that may be present, and it will save you a lot of headaches in the future. You want your headaches to be because of the bass coming out of the subwoofer, not from the stereo no longer working and having you buy another one.

Read through the company warranty thoroughly before buying. The best guarantee will protect you against pretty much everything outside of your control. Then, if a problem does arise, you'll be covered, and you will be able to get what you need without the inconvenience of having to buy two home audio systems. Famous brands that are bound to offer a warranty include Philips, Denon, Boss, and more.

Durability

Coincidentally, most home audio systems with high durability also have good warranties. That's because good companies are good all around. You want to ensure that any of the stereo products you're buying will be able to handle a little bit of abuse.

Luckily, stereo players are generally not in the crash zone of most parties, but in the odd case of a drink spilling or something smashing on top of it, you'll have to make sure that your player has a good amount of strength and durability to handle anything that may happen unexpectedly. Flimsy plastic players may break if knocked to the ground.

Budget

Lastly, your budget is something that we would put at the top of the priority list. There are a ton of top-performing audio players for the home out there with excellent speakers and high-end receivers that you can get without overpaying. Would you want the best stereo on the block with an impressive home setup that puts you into debt?

Probably not. A subwoofer, receiver, full-sized speakers, and a ton of bass may not be 100% necessary for you. You can easily get a great value model for under $200. So just keep the absolute essentials in mind when you're shopping and you're on a budget.

Of course, the more features you get, the more the price goes up. Some may come with a fancy digital display or a high resolution screen, others may have thousands of buttons to control your sound, and some may even feature an alarm clock. You can get Google, Amazon, or Siri capabilities and so much more. Just ask yourself what kind of features you need. And also, keep in mind that there is a lot of deals out there to bring the price down - you just have to keep looking.

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Conclusion

We are confident that within our list of the top eight home stereo systems is one that would be good for you. Of course, for many people, various systems would work better than others. One system won't suit everyone. Try to keep the buying factors listed in our buyer's guide in mind as you're looking, and you should be able to pick out the best home stereo system for you.

FAQs

What is the highest quality sound system? ›

The best surround sound systems: tried and tested by us
  • Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System. Best wireless surround sound system. ...
  • Monoprice SB-600. ...
  • Sonos Beam (Gen 2) System. ...
  • LG SN11RG Soundbar System. ...
  • Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar System. ...
  • JBL 9.1-Channel Soundbar System. ...
  • Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack Surround Sound System.
6 days ago

How much should I spend on a good sound system? ›

If you plan to invest in a home audio system, expect to spend about $4,000 to $6,000. These costs vary depending on the components you choose to install. For instance, if you only install the speakers and wiring systems, you may end up spending as little as $2,000 to $3,000.

Which speaker is best for bass? ›

The JBL PartyBox 310 is the best speaker for bass that we've tested. There's a 'Bass Boost' feature with two bass levels you can use to bump up the bass in your audio.

What can I do with an old stereo system? ›

Stereo equipment that is still working can be donated to a local charity, church or youth organization. However, broken stereo equipment is considered eWaste, and should be disposed according to your state's waste management laws.

What are the top 10 stereo systems? ›

The Best Home Stereo Systems in 2022
  • LG CM4590 XBOOM Home Stereo. ...
  • Yamaha Yht-495OU Home Stereo System. ...
  • Onkyo CS-265 Home Stereo – Best Bluetooth. ...
  • Sony Compact Stereo Sound System for House. ...
  • Toshiba TY-ASC400 Home Stereo Sound System. ...
  • iLive Wireless Home Stereo System. ...
  • Philips FX10 Home Stereo – Best Budget Option.
Mar 12, 2022

Who makes the world's best speakers? ›

What Are the Best Speakers In The World?
  • Definitive Technology BP9080X (Our Pick)
  • Salk Silk Monitors (Best Bookshelf Speakers)
  • KEF Q950 Floorstanding Speaker (Best Floorstanding Speakers)
  • JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.
  • Klipsch R-28PF Surround Sound Floor Standing Speaker.
  • Gershman Acoustics Grand Avant-Garde.
Sep 5, 2022

Is Onkyo still a good brand? ›

Onkyo has top-of-the-line products for your audio system needs, from speakers to playback devices to amplifiers and receivers. Onkyo's AV receiver range is very impressive, complete with amazing functionality and product for nearly every home listening environment imaginable.

Is a hi fi system worth it? ›

Hi-fi audio really is worth the investment because it provides the top streaming experience possible. While most hi-fi platforms are prohibitively expensive, there are several affordable alternatives. Regardless of price, high-fidelity audio is the best way to achieve studio-quality sound at home.

Should you spend more on speakers or amp? ›

The general consensus is to spend as much as you can on speakers, as they will make the most noticeable difference in sound quality. Also, buy as many clean watts as you can afford. Don't under-power your speakers. There is no magic ratio for spending.

Do expensive speakers sound better? ›

The quality will be noticeably better the higher you get on that price scale, even if you are only listening to Spotify and watching Youtube videos. In general, the most expensive speakers are only worth it if you are working in audio production and listening to extremely high-quality media.

Are amps or speakers more important? ›

Speakers and amplifiers are equally important for music playback. Speakers (even in headphones) are necessary transducers that convert audio signals into sound waves. Amplifiers are needed to boost phono, mic, instrument and line level signals up to speaker level to drive the speakers properly.

Is a hi fi system worth it? ›

Hi-fi audio really is worth the investment because it provides the top streaming experience possible. While most hi-fi platforms are prohibitively expensive, there are several affordable alternatives. Regardless of price, high-fidelity audio is the best way to achieve studio-quality sound at home.

What is Denon Ceol? ›

Denon CEOL-N10 review. CEOL is a mini HiFi system that can be easily installed in any room, together with speakers. You can buy the system without speakers and use it with your own speakers. However, if you have the option, you should opt for the complete package.

Is Blaupunkt any good? ›

Factory brands tend to be much higher quality stereo systems than manufacturer or aftermarket systems. However, along with the better quality they tend to be much more expensive. If you want top of the line, Blaupunkt is an excellent stereo manufacturer. This brand does not cut corners or sacrifice quality.

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